Retail groups led by RILA announce cybersecurity partnership

In the wake of recent security breaches, retail trade associations and financial institutions have formed a new cybersecurity partnership to focus on exploring paths to increased information sharing, better card security technology and maintaining the trust of customers.

Discussion regarding the partnership was initiated by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Financial Services Roundtable (FSR). These groups are joined by the American Bankers Association (ABA), the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), The Clearing House (TCH), the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the National Grocers Association (NGA), the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the National Retail Federation (NRF).

"Retailers place extraordinarily high priority on protecting customers' personal information," said Sandy Kennedy, president of RILA. "This partnership will improve collaboration across the payments ecosystem allowing us to work together to develop near- and long-term solutions that will enhance security for our customers."

"The food retail industry, with its rich history of a vigorous connection with its shopper, stands ready to work with all stakeholders across the payments chain – processors, credit card companies, equipment manufacturers and banks – to find real improvements in increasing customer data security," FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said. "We welcome this cross-industry partnership."

The group recognizes that payments occur in an ecosystem of retailers, banks, card companies, processors, security and technology vendors, and others. The ecosystem operates best when cyber threats are addressed collaboratively and each stakeholder does all it can to reasonably ensure the defenses of their internal systems are as robust and resilient as possible.

The partnership will encourage collaboration across the industries and focus on information sharing, innovative technologies including those that transmit payment data in more secure ways, and partnerships among all stakeholders in the payments field.

"We are committed to working together to ensure customer personal and financial information is secure and protected," said Tim Pawlenty, CEO of FSR. "Exploring avenues for increased information sharing and collaborating on innovative technologies and safeguarding data will be critical in defending against common enemies."

"This partnership is a positive step in the right direction, since there is no single solution to the complex issues surrounding cyber security. That is why it is important to bring stakeholders together as we seek answers, share solutions and implement programs that not only prevent hackers from breaching data systems, but protect the consumer by shutting down these criminal enterprises," said Matt Shay, president and CEO of NRF.

The participating trade associations will form working groups made up of themselves, member companies and other stakeholders. The working groups will be focused on increasing threat information sharing, innovative technologies that add safeguards to protect consumers within the payment system and other areas like national data breach laws.

For more:
-See this RILA press release

Related stories:
Cybersecurity, data privacy top retailers' 2014 agenda
Retailers call for collaboration to combat cyberattacks
Target accelerating $100 million chip and PIN adoption, finds just 25 registers at fault in breach
The story of how Target had chip and PIN cards, but failed to keep them
Data hacks: FBI says more breaches in store, Neiman Marcus says 1.1M cards at risk

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